Some days passed and being in the same house was our relief, I cross his perfume in every corner and every time our eyes meet, I remember his tender words and the feeling which made butterflies play in my stomach and heart, it was a beautiful dream, but it didn’t last for a long time, because it began to fall apart when everybody noticed that what was between us was more than friendship. My mother started to complain about the close relationship between us and his parents as well. His mother and mine told me that they are happy for our friendship, but any other relation between us was not going to suit anyone. I didn’t ask them about the reason because I knew well what it was; I have always known and turned a blind eye to it. Loving him didn’t mean that I was betraying my religion that I loved too much, but what was between us was something human, something which nobody could control or fight. He was the one who protected me from the boys of the neighborhood whom we used to fight together, the one with whom I shared the madness of my youth when we were laughing at the married couple in the neighborhood, Samia and Ismael, I just remember how we used to laugh till or eyes were filled with tears when the fat and tall Samia kicked the small thin Ismael out of home because she found a magazine full of nude women under their bed. Ismael used to run out of home with a single shoe and saying “Samiaaaaaaa, it is not mine I swear”, then she beats him with the other shoes “get out and shut up stupid man, say goodbye to my bedroom, you will sleep in the kitchen from now”, Samia’s voice was as that of a truck when she is angry; we used to hide behind a tree and say “ ooooh Samiaaaaa, let your truck move, stop warming it, the motor may explode” and then we run until our heels touched the back of our heads; his hand did never leave mine and when we arrive home and take a deep breath, our laughs spread in the horizon and our eyes did never look to the differences which were made between us.
Everybody started to stare at me in a strange way when they saw me with him, but I didn’t mind, the most important thing was that he was there by my side; I didn’t even turn to those girls who were whispering “ she is in love with this Christian”, I didn’t even look to them because I was very happy, but when I arrived at home, my father was waiting for me, his gaze was full of anger and pain, I felt that he was feeling the same pain as mine, but feelings were not the most important thing in our society. He said “I don’t want to see you with him again”, I didn’t ask him why because I have always known why and I ignored it because reality is harmful. That night I decided to face that shabby reality and stop dreaming, I made it clear that neither me nor him would change our religion and that our love can survive, but marriage will never gather us, not only because of our parents, but because no one of us was ready to change his religion. I felt that Islam was a part of my identity, and he felt that Christianity was a part of him. However, we were still thinking that the God we were worshipping was one. I slept that night and the tears were slipping to my cheek; I didn’t want to break my father’s heart and let him down; I didn’t want my heart to drive me to a situation which will ruin the friendship of the two families, but my heart was weak to the extent that I could not feel its beats.
Their 15 days were over, and their leaving was near; when everybody was preparing the package, he came to say goodbye; his eyes were sad, but I pretended to be happy saying “see you soon, but this time with a girlfriend, choose well ok? Otherwise if you let fate to choose you one, you risk marrying someone like Samia” and I laughed, “I know you well, don’t bluff ok? Don’t drive me mad”, he said. I looked through the window and said “I am serious; you have to find someone who will take care of you there” and turned to him smiling “look to the zipper of your jacket; you have broken it again? you will never grow up”. I spontaneously reached to repair it as I used to do when we were in school, then I closed his jacket. When I reached his beard; I wished to slip my hand in it or to put my cheek next to his, but when his hand reached my hair; his parents were calling him. I rushed to my room so that I don’t hear his goodbye or taste its bitterness.
Five years have passed, but not without his news; we both don’t sleep until we leave a message on facebook. I was always asking him to find a girlfriend to take care of him, because that was the only solution to our story. After two years from his leaving, he told me that he found a good girl friend that can take care of him and that she was Kabyle too and her smile resembles to mine. I was very sad and extremely jealous because he didn’t know that the worst thing you can do to a woman is to compare her to another woman , but that was what he should have done because me too I was engaged. We thought that this would end all what was between us, that it would erase our memories or the feeling which linked our souls together. However, after some months he told me that he ended the relation and that he couldn’t forget what was between us, this gave me a new soul and brought me from bottom to the top, I was very happy and I wished to tell him that I haven’t forgotten him, but I told him to come back to her and try to love her. From that day, he spent two months without to send me anything, until there was left a week to come back, he wrote me a message that he was coming back.
I was at the university when my phone rang and it was his number, “where are you?” he said in a happy voice. I told him that I was still studying then he said that he was coming. I was happy because he returned and that he left her, but everything has changed when he told me that he came back to her and that their wedding is soon. Sometimes life challenges us because it sends grief when we wear our new clothes to receive happiness; it slaps us and takes us back to reality when our hearts make us fly. All what he left to me were a song “take care” and an old letter.
At that moment, I felt that everything has reached its end. I was hurt in my womanhood because being not able to own the man you love degrades you as a woman; it makes you weak. Being not able to have him as a husband kills something inside you. And thinking that another woman will be his wife, will possess his body and have his name kills years of joy in your soul. It just picks up pieces of your heart and throws them out.
Years have gone and our lives changed very fast, the coincidence wanted to gather us again. He was there in the streets, a little bit fat and his head began to become grey. Two kids, a girl and a boy were by his side. When he saw me, he rushed directly to me; he smiled and we shake hands, this time he did not say that it was not the way we welcome our lovers. He just asked about me and the kids and asked the two kids to give me hugs, I opened my arms to hug them as if I were eager to hug my childhood, and they reminded me about the days we have lived. I hugged them and smelled their bodies to find a part of my little dreams of childhood. I really wanted to go again to that time when my only problem was the home work which I have to do so that the teacher will not beat me; when I used to sleep in any place in the house, but when I wake up the next morning I find myself in my bed. I asked him about his wife and about his health too; he said “fine, thank you. we are living what fate gave us and this is what we have to do”. Each one took his way and went to his business. He was not only the man of my life, but he was a part of me, but life doesn’t stop to heal our harms, it does its own business.
************************** The End *****************************